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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

In the News: CPS students plan to boycott state test

A group of Chicago high school students plans to boycott part of this week’s state exam, because they say it’s unfair to judge whether their schools are good or not based on one test, WBEZ reports.

Two student-led groups, Voices of Youth in Chicago Education and Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools, called on their classmates to walk out of the second day of testing for the Prairie State Achievement Exam, or PSAE, Wednesday. Students take the ACT during the first day and many don’t want to jeopardize their chances at college.

A HARD SELL: The Tribune writes that many of the school buildings that CPS will try to sell will have a hard time finding buyers, which suggests they could end up vacant in neighborhoods struggling with boarded-up houses and crime. Finding new uses and occupants for former school buildings, which have odd spaces such as gymnasiums, auditoriums and large hallways, will be challenging, experts said.

SPANISH ONLY: The Deerfield Public Schools District 109 Board announced last week that Spanish will be the only foreign language offered to incoming sixth graders at Caruso and Shepard Middle Schools next year. (Deerfield Patch)

FEDERAL FUNDS AND COMMON CORE: Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa wrote a letter to Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, asking him to include language in the bill that funds the U.S. Department of Education prohibiting the education secretary from using any of the money in the measure to oversee state implementation of Common Core Standards, develop tests to go along with the standards, or give a leg up in any federal competition to states that adopt the standards. (Education Week)


Ben Tate wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

Camera in every classroom

Now Bill Gates wants to offer $5billion dollars to invade the privacy of teachers. A camera in every classroom. This is senseless. If this is the case; on all jobs there should be a camera. What has the education business become? It is bad enough being scrutinized by Principals sitting in classrooms and writing; now to have a camera breathing down your throat all day long. This should not be. If this is the case; the children should have a robot in the room with them and to be monitored by camera from a control room. Gates has a hand in the messing up of schools in this country. This is one reason why there are so many problems. Like gangstering the education system with money. If you do this; I will give you this. Keep the money. Leave the system alone. If he wants to make the school system better; throw that money towards fixing poverty. Clean up the towns. Get the guns and drugs off the streets; so the teachers can teach. Correct the children so the teachers can teach them. How is this going to correct their behaviors so that a teacher can teach them. Sorry. But a lot of the students in this country's schools will not sit down and listen. Depending on what mood they step into a classroom with on any given day. Cameras out there can not even stop crime. Cameras in the classroom is not going to change students. They will become immune to too. Haven't you noticed. The children and technology is running it. Everyone with a cell phone; texting; ipad; ipod; notebook or whatever. At all ages. Completely out of hand. It is so bad that a lot of teachers don't even want to teach anymore. It is a terrible job to working. 37 students in a classroom wound up. Disobeying. Controlling the classroom . Bullying. You name it. Oh in the day of a classroom teacher's job. Not like it use to be. Clean the towns up first; so the teachers CAN teach.

George N. Schmidt wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

'By law...' BS in test boycott report

One of the most important un-sourced statements in the WBEZ report on the test boycott is "by law students must take the PSAE in order to graduates." Which law? Sez who? If parents support students boycotting the tests, CPS can't deny the students diplomas. That's another bit of nonsense being circulated by Becky Carroll and some principals. Graduation requirements include course work, but the day one kid is denied an Illinois high school diploma because he was a conscientious objector to the test craziness, watch what will happen. Principals are panicking, trying to bully teachers into pushing students away from the boycotts, but...

The era of high stakes testing is finally ending.

Instead of pushing some nonsense about what the "law" requires, someone should demand that ACT verify, in a research-based way, that EPAS has some relevance. It sells a lot of ACT, Inc. test prep and test materials, but they will never be able to go to AERA or any place else and prove that nonsense either. Such stuff is repeated like a liturgy by brainless script readers like Jean-Claude Brizard, and then nodded out to by the Seven Dwarfs sitting on the Chicago Board of Education. But the lawyers on the Board would know that their nonsense -- PSAE required; EPAS validity; and a host of other prattle -- would never stand up to cross examination.

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